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Van driver back in court charged with murder and attempted murder

A VAN driver has appeared in court in Wales again charged with murdering a mother-of-three and attempting to murder 13 other pedestrians, including seven children, in a hit-and-run rampage.

Matthew Tvrdon is accused of deliberately driving into parents and young children during 30 minutes of mayhem spread over three miles in the Ely and Leckwith areas of Cardiff last Friday afternoon.

The 31-year-old, of no fixed address, is charged with murder, 13 counts of attempted murder, four counts of actual bodily harm and one of dangerous driving.

Yesterday, Tvrdon faced magistrates in Cardiff, who remanded him in custody until his appearance at Newport Crown Court today via video-link.

He appeared in the court on a large plasma TV screen - opposite the press bench where a dozen or so journalists sat.

Wearing a black jumper, and flanked by two guards, Tvrdon spoke only twice during today's 15-minute preliminary hearing.

Cardiff remains in shock as the wider community struggles to come to terms with the events of Friday afternoon.

Karina Menzies (31) was killed outside Ely Fire Station by a white Iveco van.

She was one of 14 pedestrians, half of them children, hit by the van which allegedly mounted kerbs deliberately.

Two of her children, Tiana, aged 23 months, and Ellie, 8, were injured in the incident - with her brother saying later that his sister had saved their lives.

Miss Menzies's third child, 11-year-old girl Sophie, who has muscular dystrophy, had been on a "dream holiday" in Florida organised by a charity at the time of the incident.

The tragedy has hit a nerve with the close knit-community of Ely - where hundreds of people gathered on Sunday night to share their grief in a poignant prayer service at the Church of the Resurrection.

Six people injured in the incident remain in hospital - three adults and three children.

Today Judge John Griffith Williams remanded Tvrdon in custody, before saying the defendant would next appear in court on January 28.